TUCSON—Farm Stores, a Florida-based drive-thru convenience store concept, is making its way to another sunshine state: Arizona.
Livia and Carols Almandos are the husband and wife team representing Farm Stores’ Southern Arizona expansion. “Let’s say you make pancakes on Sunday morning and realize you don’t have syrup, you can get in the car, in your jammies, and go pick it up,” Livia told Tuscson.com.
The stores carry grocery staples like milk, butter, cereal and juices and bake bread and pastries onsite. There is no in-store shopping. Customers can pull up and place an order, or order ahead through the Farm Stores’ mobile app to have their purchase delivered to their vehicle upon arrival.
“We’re not going to replace the weekly grocery store trip,” said Carlos, adding, “We’re there for someone who is coming home with a carload of kids and realizes they’re out of eggs or want fresh bread because it’s pasta night.”
Farm Stores was founded in 1935 as Land O’ Sun Dairies Inc. and in 1957, the Farm Stores drive-thru outlets were created to deliver fresh dairy products directly to the consumer.
The drive-thru concept was inspired by the pop culture of the time. “In the 1950s, Americans were already going to drive-in theatres and drive-in diners. The idea emerged to replicate this model in convenience stores,” Maurice Bared, Farm Stores owner and CEO, told CNN in a 2019 interview.
CNN wrote that Bared’s idea to use old shipping containers was inspired by his construction industry experience. “I had this vision of a Farm Store in a container for two reasons,” he said. “First, the shoebox layout of a container is the same exact size as our stores. …I also grew up in the construction industry with my father having his own business. It’s where I saw the foremen had converted shipping containers into their offices.”
Today, Farm Stores has 70 locations throughout the U.S. with a 5- to 10-year plan to open another 600 more stores.